The Economist frequently commented that Silvio Berlusconi was not fit to run Italy. A corrupt media billionaire frequently avoiding criminal prosecution using statute of limitation and immunity rules did not seem like a good role model for the country. Moreover for those who used to argue that he may be corrupt but he was the only leader with the practical experience needed to fix the anemic state of the Italian economy there was little left to say when Italy became the worst performing of the large European economies. As a result Silvio Berlusconi lost the last elections. But last night Italy went to the other extreme, from the corrupt media tycoon Prime Minister to the reformed pro Soviet Communist President. Is choosing Giorgio Napolitano, an 81 year old communist who supported the Soviet Dictatorship wise? Personally I feel embarrassed about Europe now having a President who applauded the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956, the repression of Prague of 1968 and all the Soviet led horrors that we know were taking place around that time. How will Giorgio Napolitano interact with the fellow Presidents in the region, the Poles, the Hungarians, the Czechs, who bravely fought the Soviets for decades while he defended them? It seems to me that Europe has rightly condemned the horrors of the Nazi dictatorships but it has not really come to terms with the injustice of the Soviet Empire. People who supported a regime who would shoot emigrants at the Berlin Wall should not be given such a prominent role in contemporary society.
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